VIENNA, 26 April 2013 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, commemorated today the 27th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster, the largest nuclear power plant accident in human history, with calls for securing unity and solidarity to overcome the consequences, as well as strengthen collective capabilities to prevent the occurrence of such calamities in the future.
“I pay tribute to all victims, including all emergency and recovery operation workers, who were the first to combat the disaster,” Kozhara said, reminding that millions of people severely suffered from the disaster, which also resulted in large-scale radioactive contamination of vast areas in Europe, most heavily affecting the territories of Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian Federation.
Kozhara noted that, “27 years after the incident we are still dealing with the aftermath. It is important to further demonstrate international unity of purpose in overcoming the consequences of the Chornobyl disaster”.
The Minister praised the generous aid of donor states to Chornobyl projects that illustrate the ability of the global community to successfully work together for the purpose of nuclear safety.
“Engagement of the international community, including OSCE participating States, facilitates the implementation of Chornobyl projects, in particular on-going construction of a new safe confinement over the destroyed Unit 4,” the OSCE Chair added.
He also stressed the importance of the 2005 OSCE Ministerial Declaration on the 20th Anniversary of the Disaster at the Chernobyl NPP and the 2007 Madrid Declaration on Environment and Security, both defining the role of the OSCE in international co-operation efforts to alleviate the consequences of the Chornobyl accident, as well as the 2011 Kyiv Summit Declaration on Safe and Innovative Use of Nuclear Energy, reaffirming the commitment of participating States to work co-operatively in the area of nuclear safety.
The OSCE Chairperson today visited the International Atomic Energy Agency for a meeting with its Director General Yukiya Amano, where the issue of Chornobyl disaster was also discussed.